Kea Hause, trout mensa from Colorado’s western slope and Carbondale’s fine fly emporium Alpine Angling, will be posting Roaring Fork and Colorado River reports here under the moniker: BONEDALE FISHING REPORTS.

Kea is one of the finest fly fishing guides on the planet. He also is a human being. And the combination of human being, river guide and life lived produces raw, uncontrived and, at times, challenging opinion. He is no exception.

But he has stories to tell. And beneath the cracked, unkempt exterior, the ubiquitous Gortex slacks and Wellie boots, the message these stories tell is as genuine as the sweeping, cerulean skies above your favorite Montana freestone.

Listen closely enough, and you’ll realize some of these stories are songs.

Photo: Copi Vojta


God I hate typing. But you have to do what you have to do. I HAVE BEEN TROUT FISHING. The last time I was in the front of the boat was hell, I can’t even remember when the fishing on the Fork is better than I have seen in thirty years. I have been pasting massive BROWN TROUT, not pellet feeding cows, on mice and biigg stones with 1X fluoro on HEAVY 200R hooks with size 8 Renegades. We need to revive the Renegade and the Double Ugly with of course the right colored hackles. Hell, Giff comes to Alpine Angling to buy Hares Ears. The long and the short of it is, I’m getting serious about the fishing business. I don’t even have myself booked right now. Drop everything your doing and come jump in my boat, and we can save our sport. Here’s the secret for our sport: Let’s put the fun back into fly-fishing. Who doesn’t want to strip mice and Girdle Bugs for big fish? Hell, if we have too, we can pull out and twitch stuff for big Kamloops. Anyway, I have a million ideas for flies. Here’s one we need right now: 200R nymph hook the appropriate sizes, brown mottled chenille, salmon colored legs and a touch of that bluish white sparkle dub for the stomach up front and a nice brown orange grizzle soft hackle.

The big news in our drainage are the golden stones, or just stoneflies period. It’s happening on the whole west slope, and most people don’t even know it. That’s why the Convertible kicks ass. I am stealing that fly back also. Foam body, dub ribbing, tan and ginger POLY wings front and back, 200R hook, flexi floss X legs amber in color, some with brown flexi floss also. Okay, here’s my deadliest mayfly nymph: 200R, purple bead, thorax light blue crystal flash, copper ribbing and coat with thinned out epoxy. The baby blue is translucent and reflects its environment just like any kind of animal. Hell, call it the Bone Fly Baetis, and if you want to make it really deadly cut of the 200R hook and have 3X FLUORO TWO INCHES OF THE BACK with a small stinger hook, so you can floss ’em like they do with eggs. For that matter, we can do all this stuff on tubes.

Christ, no one sells beads and toothpicks in fly shops, and most guides don’t realize how deadly that is. God wont allow me to catch fish on eggs anyway. The right color for a San Juan worm is burgundy, but the purple plastic bead also helps it work. Fleximent on the post also. The main thing is don’t make it heavy so you can fish it shallow, or deep. Put the worm on a rubber tube, so you can slide it up or down your leader. We could do the same thing with an egg. Glue the rubber sleeve into a plastic bead in all the right colors. Most guides don’t have the time to tie up a bunch of bugs, myself being the exception.

The answer for our country is we have got to start making shit here. Period. Believe me my friends, crossover is the future. Kayakers should be in Simms for Chrissake. I have limited powers, but I have a ton of ideas. Why doesn’t someone make a fluorocarbon hook? Anyway, I am essentially a guide and always will be. I have faith in Simms and Ross Reels. Any thing American made is a no brainer for a REDNECK LIKE ME. I just cannot afford to buy more gear every year. And I am not going to be part of the problem, buying my shit from Cabelas or Wal-Mart. People have to support their local fly shop, and Carbondale is my hometown, and I need to put most of my energy into protecting this drainage. If you know of any good causes that need me to donate float trips, count me in. Everybody needs to donate more fishing trips especially now.

There are only three good fishing movies: Jaws, A River Runs Through It and Waterworld.

Live from the World Headquarters
Kea C. Hause


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